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Old 02-02-2007, 10:01 PM   #1
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Default Grilled Thin Crust Pizza

I have always been a fanatic for real thin crust pizza. I'm not talking about your standard pizza. I'm talking about a cracker thin crust that's light and crisp. Anyway there are a few good places I'll go to here in New Jersey - Federici's in Freehold or Pete and Elda's in Neptune. After a while I got tired of having to run out to get good pizza, so I decided it was time to make my own. After some trial and error, I finally have a killer recipe and I thought I would share it.

This recipe will make 6 pizzas about 12 to 14 inches in diameter. If you want to make less, just freeze the unused dough and refridgerate the unused sauce.

Ingredients for the crust:

3 cups flour, sifted (I've used bread flour and all purpose, and both work fine)
2 tsp of granulated sugar
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 packages of rapid rise yeast
1/2 cup of 70 to 90 degree water to start

Ingredients for sauce:

3 small cans of tomato sauce (unflavored is best)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp of sugar
1/4 cup of olive oil

Toppings:

Cheese - Use a mozzerella and asiago cheese blend. 2/3 mozzerella to 1/3 asiago - use only freshly grated whole milk mozzerella and freshly grated asiago - grate up as much or as you like

Pepperoni - I like to slice up a stick of pepperoni rather than use the presliced stuff

Anything else you like


Making the crust

Mix together all the dry ingedients in a large bowl. Add your yeast to the warm water in a measuring cup and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the yeast mixture to the flour along with the olive oil and begin kneading. This is where it's great to have an automatic mixer with a dough hook. Keep adding more warm water until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. When mixed to the proper consistency, the dough should feel sticky but not slimey. If you added too much water, just add a bit more flour. Knead for 3 to 5 minutes then cover the bowl to prevent any drafts and let the dough rise for at least 1 hour. After the dough rises, then roll it into a log shape on a floured surface. Now cut it into 6 equal pieces and put aside. If you're not in a hurry, it's even better if after the dough initially rises, punch it down and let it rise again, overnight in the refrigerator. Then roll it into a log and cut into six equal pieces.


Making the sauce:

Put all the ingedients into a blender with the exception of the olive oil. With the blender running at a slow speed, slowly pour the olive oil into the sauce. Once the olive oil is blended, stop and put the sauce aside.


This is when I would begin preheating my grill and pizza stone. A pizza stone is a must. The pizza will cook best when the temperature begins to climb above 400 degrees F. If your grill has multiple burners, it's best to keep the burner directly below the stone, turned down just a bit. The stone will retain plenty of heat and we don't want to burn the bottom of the pizza before the top thoroughly cooks.


Assembling:

Take a piece of dough and work it into a ball. Then roll it flat into a diameter of 12 to 14 inches, thoroughly dusting with flour as you go. Place the rolled dough onto a pizza peel that has been thoroughly dusted with corn meal (this helps the pizza slide off of the peel). Now take a fork and randomly poke holes in the crust. This is called docking and it prevents large air bubbles from forming while the pizza is cooking.

Now ladle sauce onto the pizza and begin spreading it all the way to the edges.

Next add your cheese blend and then your toppings.

Grill the pizza until the cheese and the sauce thoroughly combine. The top of the pizza will become a beautiful bubbling orange mixture and all those flavors will completely blend. Keep the cover of the grill closed as much as possible. After the crust begins to cook a bit, every so often rotate the pizza a 1/4 turn to safeguard against any hot spots. Keep a close eye on it. If your grill is too hot, it will cook up in a flash.

Now sit down and enjoy with your latest homebrew!

Even though the recipe seems a bit long, once you've done it once, you'll find that it's actually incredibly easy and it's guaranteed to be some of the best pizza you'll ever have.

The pizza can also be made on a pizza pan in the oven; but the crust will not be quite as crisp. Of course you could put the pizza stone in the oven.

Another variation, which I have done before, is to add some presoaked mesquite wood chips to a smoker box. This also makes for a great pie. Enjoy.

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Old 02-03-2007, 01:44 AM   #2
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Looks good. You can also flavor your crust, if you like, by adding spice to it. I made a crust with cayenne pepper, one with garlic powder, even made one with dill that I used for a white pizza.

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Old 03-16-2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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That sounds like a nice way to make a way above average home-made pizza. Without the mesquited does it pick up a lot of the burning grease flavors from the grill, or is it very very subtle?

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Old 03-25-2007, 01:58 AM   #4
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Nice recipe...and quick for pizza dough. Have you tried Alton Brown's pizza dough recipe? It takes 24 hours, but it's quite good, and also makes a hell of a thin crust pizza (or thick if you so desire). I'll post the recipe if anyone's interested.

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Old 03-25-2007, 03:11 AM   #5
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Yuri, post the recipe. I love Good Eats!

I do the grilled pizza a little differently. I have a garden, so
I use fresh tomatos and basil.

Make up your pizza dough, roll out a 10-12" circle and then brush with olive oil.
Grill enough to get a nice golden brown. Next add your ingredients.
Usually I'll take some fresh tomato slices, basil, calamalta olives, mozzarella and
a little crushed garlic. Then sprinkle a little pecorino romano. Just push that over to the hot side of the grill to melt
the cheese and then watch it disappear when you set the plate down.

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Old 03-25-2007, 05:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouT
That sounds like a nice way to make a way above average home-made pizza. Without the mesquited does it pick up a lot of the burning grease flavors from the grill, or is it very very subtle?
Pizza grilled without mesquite, does not pick up any off flavors at all. In fact this is the typical way I grill it.
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Old 03-25-2007, 05:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
Nice recipe...and quick for pizza dough. Have you tried Alton Brown's pizza dough recipe? It takes 24 hours, but it's quite good, and also makes a hell of a thin crust pizza (or thick if you so desire). I'll post the recipe if anyone's interested.
I've never tried Alton Brown's recipe before; but I've always been a big fan of his show. In reality, my own crust is actually best if you let it sit refrigerated over night. In fact, I should probably edit that.
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Old 03-25-2007, 02:52 PM   #8
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Looks nice...I love thin crust pizza. Pears, gorgonzola, a little arugula...mmm.

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Old 03-26-2007, 12:44 AM   #9
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Straight from the Food Network website:

Pizza Pizzas Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Flat is Beautiful


2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon kosher salt*
1 tablespoon pure olive oil
3/4 cup warm water
2 cups bread flour (for bread machines)
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons olive oil
Olive oil, for the pizza crust
Flour, for dusting the pizza peel
Toppings:
1 1/2 ounces pizza sauce
1/2 teaspoon each chopped fresh herbs such as thyme, oregano, red pepper flakes, for example
A combination of 3 grated cheeses such as mozzarella, Monterey Jack, and provolone

Place the sugar, salt, olive oil, water, 1 cup of flour, yeast, and remaining cup of flour into a standing mixer's work bowl. Using the paddle attachment, start the mixer on low and mix until the dough just comes together, forming a ball. Lube the hook attachment with cooking spray. Attach the hook to the mixer and knead for 15 minutes on medium speed.
Tear off a small piece of dough and flatten into a disc. Stretch the dough until thin. Hold it up to the light and look to see if the baker's windowpane, or taut membrane, has formed. If the dough tears before it forms, knead the dough for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.
Roll the pizza dough into a smooth ball on the countertop. Place into a stainless steel or glass bowl. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the bowl and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 18 to 24 hours.
Place the pizza stone or tile onto the bottom of a cold oven and turn the oven to its highest temperature, about 500 degrees F. If the oven has coils on the oven floor, place the tile onto the lowest rack of the oven. Split the pizza dough into 2 equal parts using a knife or a dough scraper. Flatten into a disk onto the countertop and then fold the dough into a ball.
Wet hands barely with water and rub them onto the countertop to dampen the surface. Roll the dough on the surface until it tightens. Cover one ball with a tea towel and rest for 30 minutes.
Repeat the steps with the other piece of dough. If not baking the remaining pizza immediately, spray the inside of a ziptop bag with cooking spray and place the dough ball into the bag. Refrigerate for up to 6 days.
Sprinkle the flour onto the peel and place the dough onto the peel. Using your hands, form a lip around the edges of the pizza. Stretch the dough into a round disc, rotating after each stretch. Toss the dough in the air if you dare. Shake the pizza on the peel to be sure that it will slide onto the pizza stone or tile. (Dress and bake the pizza immediately for a crisp crust or rest the dough for 30 minutes if you want a chewy texture.)
Brush the rim of the pizza with olive oil. Spread the pizza sauce evenly onto the pizza. Sprinkle the herbs onto the pizza and top with the cheese.
Slide the pizza onto the tile and bake for 7 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Rest for 3 minutes before slicing.
*This recipe's been on the web for some time now and although most of the reactions have been darned positive, some of you have commented that the dough was way too salty. At first we chalked this up to personal preference; some folks are just not as sensitive as others to this basic flavor. And of course salty toppings would definitley change the dynamic. Still, we didn't want to leave it at that. We went back to the lab and found that the flake size of kosher salt differs quite a bit from brand to brand. This could easily result in a too salty crust. So unless you've had success with the recipe in the past, we suggest you cut the salt by one teaspoon, from a tablespoon to two teaspoons. So that the yeast doesn't go crazy, you should also cut back on the sugar by half a teaspoon. Thanks, AB

Yuri's notes:

Alton's book, I'm Just Here for More Food, has this variation for the ingredients:
1 1/4 C water
1 25mg chewable children's aspirin (for the vitamin C content)
1 Tbs salt
1 tsp sugar
1 lb all purpose flour (by weight...about 8 cups)
1 pkg instant yeast

Somehow the proportions work out to be about the same, even though the flour seems like it's way overboard. I'd recommend just sticking with the smaller recipe above, since it makes about 2 medium-ish pizzas. Smaller and thinner tends to work out better for me. If you never tried pizza on the grill, get yourself a pizza stone and fire it up!

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Old 03-26-2007, 05:52 PM   #10
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I tried a pizza beer about a week or two ago. Seriously. Pizza beer.

I definitely tasted the oregano and anise and there was clearly some tomato flavor and a doughy yeasty sort of flavor, just like a pizza crust.

I couldn't guess what it was until they told me. Because of the yeastiness and sharp spices I guess it was some sort of a light filtered/clarified wheat beer with a belgian yeast. But once they told me, I was like, "Ooohhh yeah.. I see it now..."

Anyway, it was pretty weird.

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